The Andrews Labor Government is helping early learning services in buying new equipment and learning kits to support East Gippsland children of all abilities get the best out of their time at kinder.

Member for Eastern Victoria announced Lakes Entrance Preschool, Mallacoota Kindergarten and Swan Reach & District Kindergarten were among 184 successful applications for new equipment to support inclusion of all children.

The Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program equipment stream provides up to $10,000 for items that promote inclusiveness and diversity, including adjustable tables and chairs and sensory equipment such as padded mats and weighted cushions.

Lakes Entrance Preschool, Mallacoota Kindergarten and Swan Reach & District Kindergarten are some of the first kindergartens selected by the state government to roll out a fully funded three-year old kinder program in 2021, from this funding they all will be able to purchase new equipment and resources.

The Victorian Budget 2019/20 included $6 million for the Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program to help kindergartens across the state provide safe and inclusive environments for children with additional needs.

This is part of the Government’s $5 billion commitment to deliver a full 15 hours of Three-Year-Old Kinder to every Victorian child over the next decade, with the rollout beginning in 2020.

The roll-out will continue progressively across the state, with families in a further 15 regional LGAs to benefit in 2021. This will be expanded in 2022 to give three-year-olds across the rest of the state access to five hours of funded kindergarten, before being scaled up to a full 15-hour program by 2029.

The Labor Government’s investment in three-year-old kinder also includes $473.2 million for early childhood infrastructure, which will support the sector to invest in new and expanded kindergarten facilities, when and where they are needed most.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“These grants will make a big difference in ensuring children of all abilities attending kindergarten in East Gippsland get the support they need to thrive.”

Quote attributable to Member of Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett

“It’s fantastic to help kindergarten services be able to buy the equipment they need to provide welcoming and inclusive environments for all children.”